California nurse staffing agency NurseRegistry is sharing vital information on Parkinson’s Disease, its symptoms, stages, and how to care for a Parkinson's patient at home.
Parkinson’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that typically occurs in older adults. As the 14th leading cause of death according to the CDC, it is estimated that around 1% of all adults over the age of 60 in the United States develop Parkinson’s. The symptoms of the disease are chronic and they worsen over time leading to patients requiring a greater level of care as they grow older.
The severity of the symptoms varies from person to person, age, and the stage of the disease. During the early stages of Parkinson’s, the effects on the central nervous system and motor control are mild, having little to no impact on daily activities. During the middle stages, patients may experience balance problems and tremors, and become more prone to falling. Finally, in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s, the patient is likely to develop delusions and dementia with significant tremors, requiring full-time care.
“Caring for a patient at home,” Melissa Fischer LVN, Ceo of NurseRegistry, says, “is a balance between assisting them and giving them autonomy. Mundane tasks become a huge challenge. It can be very stress-inducing and, maybe even, humiliating. Certain medications can cause side effects such as lightheadedness, confusion, and drowsiness. So, depending on their needs, you have to be patient and caring in your approach. If you need professional assistance in this regard, we urge you to learn about NurseRegistry's private nursing services.”
Showering is preferred to using bathtubs as the latter can be a slip-and-fall hazard. While showering, a comfortable shower stool or a handheld shower head is recommended. Another suggestion is wrapping the patient up in absorbent Terry cloth after their bath to assist them in drying. Electric toothbrushes can be used to eliminate excessive hand movements.
While helping patients get dressed, the clothes should be picked out and laid out ahead of time. Clothing should be chosen so that it is easy to put on including bras that hook in the front, loose-fitting shirts, pants with elastic waistbands, and tube socks. Shoes with rubber soles should be avoided as they can be slippery on most surfaces.
The patient’s daily diet should include food rich in fiber such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, bran cereals, and fiber bars, and calcium such as cheese, Vitamin D-fortified milk, and Greek yogurt. To help them ease in and out of bed, the bedsheets should be thinner and easy to slide through and bedrails are recommended to help them maintain balance.
Some home safety considerations include reducing clutter to stop patients from tripping and falling. Pathways should be wide and clear for patients who use mobility aids like canes, walkers, rollators, or wheelchairs. Furniture should be kept 5 to 6 feet apart, the entirety of the property should be adequately illuminated, floor coverings should be preferably removed unless they are nonslip, and grip bars should be installed in key areas of the house.
Melissa talks about the greatest need that Parkinson’s patients have by saying, “More than anything, they need your love and support. Be clear in your communication and don’t lose your temper as they are truly struggling to do the things that we take for granted. Tell them how much you care about them. That assurance will go a long way towards making them feel like they can get through this immensely challenging phase of their life.”
Based in Palo Alto, NurseRegistry offers private nursing to clients and nurse staffing for facilities, institutions, recovery centers, and hospitals. As a private pay solution, NurseRegistry offers exceptional scheduling flexibility giving patients peace of mind that they will be cared for, when they need help the most. The company’s client services team handpicks a nurse to perfectly match a client's medical situation. For Parkinson’s patients, private nurses can assist with medication management and skilled support for more advanced stages of the disease, as well as respite for family caregivers.
Readers who are caring for loved ones with Parkinson’s are urged to check out NurseRegistry’s blog post on the topic by visiting https://www.nurseregistry.com/blog/caring-for-a-parkinsons-patient-at-home/.
For more information about NurseRegistry - Palo Alto, contact the company here:
NurseRegistry - Palo Alto
125 University Ave Suite 260, Palo Alto, CA 94301